March 15th, 2009 19:33 EST
Browns' WR Donte Stallworth Strikes and Kills Pedestrian in Miami
Former NFL first round draft pick Donte Stallworth struck and killed a pedestrian early Saturday morning while he was cruising along a congested causeway between Miami and Miami Beach, according to Miami Beach police and Miami-Dade County officials.
Juan Sanchez, a spokesman for the Miami Beach police, reported that Stallworth, 28, was on his way towards the beach when he hit a 49-year-old man with the Bentley he`d been driving at the time of 7 A.M. Saturday. The victim, who remains anonymous, was rushed to a nearby trauma center, where attempts to save his life were all for naught. The man was pronounced dead at 8 A.M., about an hour after he had been admitted.
His body was found close to a crosswalk but authorities are unsure whether he was jaywalking at the time of the accident.
Stallworth cooperated with officers and investigators on the scene and no charges have been filed as of yet. As standard procedure, police obtained blood samples from the wide receiver to see if he had been under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. Officers haven`t yet determined if Stallworth was intoxicated or guilty of breaking any traffic laws. Police declined to mention on where he came from or where he was going.
The former Pro Bowl wide receiver owns two condos in a building on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, which are close to the crime scene, and another condo nearby in the city.
Since the news broke, the Browns have released a statement saying: "We understand the seriousness of this situation, but will not have any further comment at this time as this is an ongoing investigation."
The Cleveland Browns signed free agent Stallworth to a seven-year, $35 million contract prior to the start of the 2008 football season. Their pickup didn`t translate into the investment they made to keep him in Cleveland: he was plagued by a severe hamstring injury throughout much of the season and played a total of seven games in which he had a mere 17 catches going for 170 yards. He was preparing to sign a $4.75 million signing bonus.
Before arriving in Cleveland, Stallworth had played for the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, and the Philadelphia Eagles. His best season came in 2005 with the Saints where he had a career-high 70 receptions, 945 yards, and seven touchdowns. After finishing his collegiate years in Tennessee, Stallworth was picked up by the New Orleans Saints as the 13th overall first round selection in the 2002 NFL draft.
Media sources left a message on Stallworth`s agent`s voicemail asking for a response. Drew Rosenhaus, the player`s agent, hadn`t yet returned their phone call concerning his client`s conduct.